Chapter 1: The Truth

Author's notes

Hi everybody, this is the first fanfic I've ever written, and really, the first story I've ever really written (besides school stuff of course). I really just got inspired to write from reading so many stories on this site, so finally got the motivation to make my own, hope you guys like it.

The story has a lot of A/U elements, but the events that take place are based on canon, but I've just sorta put my own twist on them. Naruto will be a little Out of Character, but mostly for good reason in this fic. The main couple of course will be Naruto and Hinata, but there are some other couples I hope to get in as well :P

Disclaimer: Sadly I don't own Naruto, but I sure wish I did.

Now on to the story, hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 1: The Truth

Naruto screamed, "Shadow clone Jutsu!", suddenly the whole forest was filled with clones of Naruto all with furious looks on their face, Naruto watched on as his clones pummeled Mizuki to within an inch of death. Naruto was furious, he had just learned the reason behind the hatred toward him from the villagers from Mizuki. He was the container of the nine-tailed fox, the demon that almost destroyed their village 12 years ago.

He had always wondered why the villagers had hated him, why they gave him such cold stares as he walked down the street for no reason at all. The ones that wouldn't stare at him though, just didn't even acknowledge his presence at all, which was almost as bad to Naruto. Which resulted in him playing pranks on his village, just so he could feel acknowledged by his village.

As Iruka looked at his student he couldn't help but feel proud. He wasn't even a genin yet, but he took a chunin down with a high jonin level jutsu, the shadow clone jutsu was a very advance jutsu, and took a tremendous amount of chakra to use, and he had just created at least 100 clones and didn't look exhausted at all. It really confused him, because at the academy he couldn't even manage to create one clone, but now he could make 100 shadow clones? It just didn't add up, did Naruto really have this kind of potential all along?

"Iruka-sensei, are you mad at me?" Naruto asked hesitently.

Iruka looked confused, "Why would I be mad at you Naruto? You just saved me, and saved the scroll from being stolen, I'm actually very proud of you."

"You…..you're proud of me?" Naruto said with a very shocked expression.

"Well of course! Why shouldn't I be Naruto?"

"Because….because I'm a demon sensei… I'm the nine-tailed fox…" Naruto said with a sad look on his face

Iruka looked at him sternly, "Naruto! Listen to me, you are NOT a demon! Just because you have one sealed inside of you does not make you one understand?"

"But the same demon that lives inside of me killed your parents….. Does that not make you mad?" Naruto said with a confused look on his face.

"Naruto….. I would never blame you for the death of my parents, that was not your doing; it was the damn fox inside of you that killed them, not you Naruto, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a damn fool. You're not a demon Naruto, you're Naruto Uzumaki, don't ever forget that."

Naruto looked very shocked, he thought Iruka would hate him for what the demon inside him had done to his parents, just like everyone else in the village seemed too, but Iruka didn't hate him for it. He actually did look genuinely proud of Naruto, which made Naruto grin, he actually knew someone now that didn't hate him. Besides the Hokage, everyone else had always seemed to stare at him with hatred in their eyes, or just ignored him. Even all his classmates didn't like him, or at least that's what Naruto thought.

"Naruto, close your eyes, I have a surprise for you." Iruka said with a smile.

Naruto looked curiously at his sensei, but did as he was told, he felt him wrap something around his head…... that could only mean…...

"Alright Naruto, open your eyes!" Iruka said with excitement.

Naruto opened his eyes, and immediately reached for his forehead; it was just as he thought! It was a ninja forehead protector, a hitai-ate.

"So does this mean…."

"Yes, you are now a ninja Naruto!" Iruka said proudly.

Naruto's face completly lit up in joy, "YESSSSSSS! I'm a NINJA! BELIEVE IT!" Naruto said with as much excitement and energy that Iruka has ever seen from him, and that's saying a lot.

Iruka just chuckled at the boy's excitement and smiled.

Naruto couldn't believe it, all his life he had dreamed of becoming a ninja, many people had told him he couldn't do it, and it didn't matter how hard he tried he would never make it. Naruto just ignored them and kept pushing himself harder and harder, and now he had finally reached his goal! He couldn't wait to show off his headband to everyone, especially the ones that doubted him.

"Come on Naruto, I'll take you to Ichiraku's for some ramen to celebrate!"

When Naruto had the opportunity to get free food he never turned it down, especially ramen.

"Alright! Let's go" Naruto said happily.

"First things first though, we need to get this scroll back to the hokage and tell him what happened." Iruka said.

"Err… do you think he'll be mad at me for stealing the scroll?" Naruto asked with a bit of nervousness.

"Probably at first, but once we explain it wasn't your fault and tell him the story I'm sure he won't be mad at you." Iruka said.

Naruto looked relieved, "Well lets get it over with then".

Naruto and Iruka made their way to the hokage's office, when they got there he looked very worried and mad.

"NARUTO! What were you thinking! Stealing the forbidden scroll is a very serious offense!" the Hokage said very angrily.

"Hokage-sama, please hear me out, it was not Naruto's fault it was Mizuki who tricked him into stealing it." Iruka said.

The Hokage looked at him shocked, "Mizuki? He was always one of the best and upcoming ninja of this village! Tell me the whole story."

"Yes, Lord Hokage." Iruka said as he began his tale.

Iruka then went on to tell the Hokage everything that had happened, with Naruto also adding in to the story a few times as well. Sarutobi looked very disappointed after they had got done telling their story.

"I can't believe Mizuki would do that, he always seemed to me to be a very loyal and strong Konoha shinobi... but I've learned over the years even your best friends cannot be trusted sometimes... and now Mizuki has fooled us all, but thanks to you two he didn't get away with it." Hokage then looked at Naruto with a smile, "You proved today that you are definitely worthy of that headband Naruto, beating a chunin is no easy task, especially for someone who wasn't even a genin at the time." Sarutobi said proudly.

Naruto looked very proud of the hokage's words, any compliment coming from the hokage was definitely as high as they come, "Thank you Hokage-sama" Naruto said smiling almost as hard as he could.

"Well it's getting late, if ya'll are going to celebrate then you better get going." Sarutobi said smiling.

"Yes, let's go Naruto." Iruka said, relieved that everything had worked out as planned.

"By the way Naruto, if you ever need anything or someone to talk to, just remember, my door is always open for you." Sarutobi said.

Naruto looked at the hokage and smiled "Thanks old man," then turned and left with Iruka.

Sarutobi then leaned back in his chair as he watched them leave, 'He is going to make a great shinobi one day, heck, maybe even become Hokage. He certainly has the potential, and Kami knows I can't do this for much longer.' Sarutobi thought. 'I really do hope his dream will become reality.'

Iruka and Naruto finally made it to Ichiraku's, it was Naruto's favorite place to eat, mostly because it was the only place he was actually allowed to eat at in Konoha and not be thrown out, but they definitely did make great ramen though.

Naruto smiled at the old man who owned the restaurant and his daughter who worked with him, Teuchi and his daughter Ayame. Besides the hokage and Iruka sensei they were the only ones in town who really treated him with respect and acted nicely towards him.

"Well, if it isn't my two best customers in the whole town!" Teuchi said very loudly, "and looky there! My favorite customer has finally reached his goal of becoming a ninja!"

Naruto smiled at Teuchi with great pride in himself, "That's right old man! It was tough, but Naruto Uzumaki never gives up! BELIEVE IT!" Naruto said his catchphrase louder than ever.

Iruka looked at him chuckling, "You really need a new catchphrase Naruto, that one is starting to get old."

"What?! No way sensei, there's no way I'd ever give up saying that! They are my favorite two words in the whole world! If I ever stopped saying it people wouldn't believe me you know? Believe it!" Naruto said with a smirk.

Iruka knowing that he wouldn't be able to get Naruto to ever stop saying that just sighed, and they both finally sat down to get their orders taken. Eventually their food came, Iruka just ordered one bowl of miso ramen, but Naruto ended up getting three bowls of miso ramen, 2 bowls of beef ramen, and 3 bowls of chicken ramen!

Iruka sweatdropped, watching Naruto eat his ramen was really a spectacle, and disgusting too. The kid had absolutely no manners at all, and he was a bottomless pit. Worst of all the he knew he was gonna have quite a large bill to pay when he was done. It was ok though, this was a big day for Naruto, and he deserved to eat as much as he wanted.

Iruka's eyeballs just about came completely out of his head when he saw the bill, but he paid up. He started mumbling about never ever doing this again, but he knew it wouldn't be the last time they ever ate there, but maybe next time Naruto could pay. He'll be doing missions soon so he should have plenty of money to pay he thought with a grin.

"Hey sensei…." Naruto said weakly.

"Yes, Naruto? What is it?" Iruka said with a bit of concern.

"Well I was just wondering…. Well…... Why don't you hate me...? I mean all the other villagers do, yet your own parents died at the hand of the fox, yet you don't seem to dislike me at all… why?" Naruto asked puzzled.

Iruka just sighed, and leaned in closer to Naruto and put a hand around his shoulder, "Because I see a lot of me in you" he said smiling, but then he quickly started frowning. "The villagers hate you because they don't understand you Naruto, but I do. They think that the demon is you, so they hate you for it, but I know that's not true, and anyone else who knows you knows it to. Hopefully one day, they will too." Iruka said smiling again.

Naruto looked at him confused at first, but then smiled, "Thank you, sensei...For being my friend."

"You're welcome Naruto, and thank you for being mine." Iruka said with a smile, "Now get on home and get some rest, tomorrow is the big day that I announce the teams and you get introduced to your sensei, so you'll need your rest"

"Alright!" Naruto said with excitement, "I'll see you tomorrow then sensei!"

"Alright, good night Naruto."

"Goodnight sensei."

When Naruto got home to his apartment, he immediately hit his bed with a loud thud. He was really tired, and really stuffed.

'It's good to know I have a friend. I have been so blind, I thought that pulling pranks and being a loud mouth in school would eventually get me noticed, and I'd make friends. I know that's wrong now, I just need to be myself, and eventually I will make friends, hopefully a lot of them.' Naruto thought, 'Tomorrow Naruto Uzumaki is a changed man.'

Then with a grin on his face Naruto feel into a deep sleep.

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Naruto awoke the next morning feeling good, he was ready to show everyone who he really was, and he was also really excited to meet his teammates, and his new sensei.

As he walked down the streets of Konoha the stares and glares of hatred were there as always. Naruto was glad he finally understood why they looked at him like that, but it still didn't make him any less mad at them. If Iruka could be friends with him and not see him as a demon why couldn't they?

Naruto finally made it to the academy bursting with excitement. As he opened the door the class room looked the same as ever. Sakura and Ino were both fighting over who Sasuke liked more and trying to get his attention. Sasuke just sat there quiet as usual and ignoring them. Shikamaru was taking a nap, and next to him Choji was munching on a bag of chips so loudly he couldn't see how Shikamaru was sleeping through it. Shino was sitting there emotionless as ever, and looking straight ahead. Kiba was playing with his dog Akamaru and smiling. Naruto smiled, 'He really does love his dog' Naruto thought, 'Kinda makes me wish I had one.'

Naruto had actually tried to get a dog one time, but all dogs seemed to not like him very much. He never really understood before, but he guessed it had something to do with the nine-tailed fox.

Much to the surprise of everyone Naruto walked straight passed his usual spot near Sasuke and Sakura and walked straight to an empty seat. He had a big crush on Sakura, and had trying asking her out on a date so many times that he couldn't remember anymore. Every time she had said no though, and was usually very mean about it, and just seemed to hate Naruto even more everytime he asked. Naruto decided he didn't want to be around people like that anymore so he just walked right past her. He still had feelings for her of course, but she was just so mean to him that it really did hurt him inside. He didn't ever let it show though of course, but it really did hurt whether she knew it or not.

He was glad that she didn't really care that he had sat somewhere else today. 'She's probably glad,' he thought to himself.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a girl that he couldn't really remember ever seeing before. She had short raven colored hair, and she was fairly pale, but it seemed to suit her. Her eyes were very mystifying. They were white and blank, and she had no pupils, but at the same time they were still very beautiful he thought to himself. She wore a long cream-coloured hooded jacket that looked very cozy, and navy blue pants.

She turned around and looked at him, but as soon as their eyes met she turned around very quickly and her face turned a bright red, as she started poking her fingers together like she was nervous.

'Weird', Naruto thought to himself, as he looked at her confused before turning around himself.

For some reason though he hoped she would end up on his team. He didn't know why, especially since he didn't even know her name, but just from looking at her he could tell she was strong, and seemed like someone Naruto would want to be friends with, not all the other jerks in his class that seemed to hate him.

Hinata was very happy to see Naruto had passed his exam; she had a very big crush on him since the first time she laid eyes on him. His determination and his courage are what really attracted her to him. He was just so determined to become hokage one day, that it really made her envious of him. Add the fact that he was also probably the cutest boy she had ever seen, and you could say that Hinata was pretty crazy about him.

Sad thing was he didn't even know she existed, she was to shy to ever talk to him, and he was always trying to flirt with Sakura, and ask her out. It really made Hinata feel very jealous everytime he did, in a way she was glad Sakura turned him down every time, but it also made her sad as well, because even though no one else could see it, it really made Naruto very sad every time she rejected him, and he hated it when he was sad, it just did not suite him at all. She cursed herself today as she realized she probably would never see Naruto again as she had thought he had failed his exam. She had never gotten a chance to try and talk to him, and she cursed herself for that.

When he walked through the door today with his hitai-ate on though, she was very happy. Somehow he had passed and now there was a chance they could end up on the same team together! Then she could hopefully be able to talk to him then, and hopefully become friends! It excited her just thinking about it.

She was surprised to see he had sat in a different seat today, away from Sakura and by himself. She wondered what had gotten into him, when she looked over to look at him, he was staring straight at her with his big blue bright eyes. It instantly made Hinata look away and turn red, she started poking her fingers together as she did when she got nervous. She was ecstatic though, that was the first time Naruto had actually ever looked at her and noticed her, and it made her happy, but also kind of nervous as well. 'I really do hope we are on the same team' she thought to herself. Just at that moment Iruka sensei had walked through the door with a smile on his face, ready to tell them their fate.

Naruto smiled as Iruka sensei walked through the door. It was kind of bittersweet to leave the academy, because he knew he wouldn't be seeing his sensei as much anymore, but he was definitely ready to start his new life as a ninja, and eventually become the Hokage one day.

Iruka started speaking "Hello class! As you all know today you will be teamed up into teams of three people and assigned a Jonin as your sensei, you all are now ready to start your new life as a ninja. I'm very proud of each and every one of you, and hope you are excited!" Iruka said with enthusiasm. "Any questions?"

Sasuke raised his hand.

"Yes, Sasuke."

"I think I speak for everyone when I ask why is that loser Naruto here? Last time I checked He had failed his exam, and very badly at that." Sasuke said coldly

"Yeah!" Sakura said, "He didn't pass! He shouldn't be here!" she said angrily.

Much to everyone's surprisement, Naruto just sat there without saying a word. This was very unusual for him, as even the slightest bad thing said about him would have him screaming and throwing a fit.

Sasuke looked up at him curiously, "Well? Are you gonna say something loser?" Sasuke said staring coldly at Naruto.

Naruto looked back at him and glared, "Why would I have anything to say to an idiot like you?" Naruto said, angering the Uchiha boy greatly.

"What did you say to me loser!?"

"You heard me, I knew you were stupid, just not blind. Incase you haven't noticed Sasuke, I'm wearing a hitai-ate, which means I DID pass the exam. So please, don't embarrass yourself anymore and just turn around while you still have the chance." Naruto said in a serious tone.

Everyone looked around shocked, even though Sakura, Ino, and especially Sasuke himself would never admit it; Naruto had just made Sasuke look like a complete fool, when it was always the other way around in the past.

Much to the surprisement of everyone, Sasuke just turned around and actually looked a little embarressed. Which was something never shown on his face before.

'I'll make you pay for that Naruto, one day soon, I promise.' Sasuke thought to himself, as he grinded his teeth together.

Iruka finally broke the silence, "Well now that, that is taken care of, it's time to announce your teams!"

"Alright, on Team 7 it will be Sakura, Shikamaru, and Sasuke." Sakura looked ecstatic; she was going to be on the team with the boy she loved, it had to be destiny she thought to herself. Sasuke and Shikamaru both looked like they could care less.

Naruto chuckled, 'They should make a great team,' he said to himself sarcastically, 'Shikamaru and Sasuke should get a long, but Sakura is so different from them, and they both seem to hate her.' The more he thought about them working together the more he chuckled.

Hinata was happy, Naruto wouldn't be on a team with Sakura, and now he had a better chance of being on a team with her.

"Alright, now it's time to call out the members of Team 8!" Iruka said with just as much enthusiasm as he had before.

"On Team 8 it will be Hinata Hyuga," as soon as she heard her name she crossed her fingers and prayed Naruto would be on it, 'Please let Naruto be on my team' she thought to herself.

"Kiba Inuzuka."

Hinata crossed her fingers and prayed even harder, if anyone looked at her right now they would probably think she was a freak, but she didn't really care at this moment.

"And finally, Naruto Uzumaki!" Iruka said very loudly and proudly.

Hinata thought she was in a dream; she was on a team with Naruto! This couldn't be any better for her she thought. Kiba seems like a nice guy as well, we should all get a long great! I just hope I can be less shy around Naruto now.

Naruto was happy as well, he was on the team with the raven haired girl like he wanted to be, and now he knew her name. Kiba seemed like a nice guy too, and he was really the only one in the class who hadn't been completly mean to him in the past. His dog didn't really like Naruto that much though, but he's sure Akamaru would get over it eventually.

Kiba was a bit sad, he had hoped he would be on the same team as Ino, he had secretly had a crush on her since the day he saw her. He had tried talking to her before, but she didn't to care at all about what he had to say, all she seemed to care about was that damn Uchiha kid. He didn't know what was so special about him, but it really pissed him off. At least he could stand his teammates though, he didn't really know either of them well, especially Hinata. She did seem like she was a nice girl though, and definitely the strongest kunoichi of the class. Naruto was cool with Kiba to; he never really understood why people picked on him so much, and talked bad about him. They seemed to have pretty similar personalities, so hopefully they can be friends. Akamaru didn't seem to like him though, but his dog didn't like many people anyway, so he'll just have to get over it he thought to himself.

"and now that leaves three people left, so no excitement for the announcement of this team" Iruka said.

"On Team 9 it will be Ino, Choji, and Shino." Iruka said, as he closed his journal.

'Wow that's definitely a pairing to' Naruto said to himself. 'They are all so different, looks like our team might just be the best afterall.' Naruto thought proudly.

Ino was pretty mad, this had to be the worst pairing possible, and Sakura is on a team with Sasuke?! This is just completly awful she thought.

Choji just kept eating his chips, looking a little worried himself.

Shino just sat there unemotionless as ever, inside he was worried himself about that pairing, but he thought it would work out though in the end.

"Well that's that," Iruka said. "You're sensei's will be here in 2 hours, in the mean time you should all go out and get to know your teammates." Iruka said, turning and leaving the classroom.

The whole class then did the same, and left the classroom. Naruto was outside looking around for his teammates, he wanted to get to know a little more about them like Iruka told them to, but he couldn't seem to find any of them anywhere.

Naruto finally spotted Kiba sitting against a tree peting Akamaru, so Naruto headed over to him and sat down beside him.

"Well, I guess we are team mates huh?" Naruto said sorta awkwardly, he didn't really know Kiba that well, but he seemed alright to him though, definitely better than the others.

"So it seems." Kiba said a little awkwardly as well.

Things were pretty silent for about a minute until Naruto decided to finally speak up, "So…... do you like ramen?" Naruto asked.

"Hmm, that's a weird question, well it's not my favorite food, but yeah I guess it's alright us Inuzukas have strange appetites though." Kiba said.

"Yeah, I noticed that when I saw you eating Akamaru's dog food one day!" Naruto said laughing.

"HEY! It's not that bad actually you idiot! Maybe you should try it, I think you'd like it." Kiba said with a grin.

"Ha, I love food, but I don't think I'd ever eat dog food unless I had to." Naruto said, still chuckling a little bit.

"Well, we'll be together a lot from now on, so maybe you'll have to eventually if times ever get rough." Kiba said chuckling a little bit now to.

After that they seemed to connect really well, and had quickly became good friends in just a few minutes. It really made Naruto happy to know he had just made a new friend, one he would be spending a lot of time with, and one that was actually his age for once.

As they were talking about cool jutsus and techniques they knew, it had finally dawned on Naruto that something wasn't right, and then he realized what it was.

"Hey Kiba, I just realized something, where is Hinata at? I wanted to meet her to before we met our senseis!" Naruto said.

"To be honest, I have no idea. I was trying to actually talk to her myself, but then I saw her quickly walking away from the academy, so I decided I'd just sit here and wait it out till our sensei came. Then you showed up of course."

"Sounds like she might not be to happy to be in our group then." Naruto said frowning.

"Eh, I don't know, she's always been kind of weird and shy, she probably was just to shy to talk to us."

"I hope so," Naruto said with a look of concern on his face. "Which way did she head by the way?"

"North of here," Kiba said. "Why you wanna know?"

"I think I'm gonna go see if I can find her, I'll see you back at the academy in a few."

"Alright man, see ya." Kiba said with a grin.

'He must like this girl or somethin'' Kiba thought to himself, as he watched his new friend take off in the direction he had pointed.

Hinata was mad at herself, she had finally got in a team with Naruto but she was to shy to even talk to him after the teams had been announced. She cursed herself for her shyness; she hoped it would go away in time she thought.

Eventually it was time to head back to the academy, but standing between her way to the academy was actually the boy she had been trying to avoid because of her shyness, standing there with a grin on his face.

"Hi Hinata," Naruto said with a smile.

Hinata looked like she could faint, "H-h-hello N-Naruto" she said stuttering a little.

Naruto could see the nervousness in her tone, and was glad that he realized that she was probably just to shy to talk to them like Kiba had said, instead of it being that she didn't like her team.

"I was hoping I'd find you, and it's about time to head back and meet our sensei, come on let's walk together."

"O-ok" Hinata said shyly again.

"So are you excited to be a ninja?" Naruto asked.

"Well… um… yes... of course." she said weakly. She was still very nervous to be talking to Naruto, and was trying to calm down, but just couldn't for some reason.

"Ha! You don't really sound like it, but I believe you." Naruto said with a smile, which made Hinata blush a little.

"You do look strong, definitely compared to Sakura and Ino. I was very glad when they announced the teams and you were on my team." Naruto said continuing to smile.

Hinata couldn't believe it, he had just said he was glad she was on his team and not Sakura or Ino. It was hard to believe though, because she knew he liked Sakura a lot, so why would he want her on his team more than her?

"D-do you really mean that N-Naruto?" she said with a very big blush.

"Well yeah! I mean, I like Sakura and all, but she's always so mean to me. I didn't want someone like that on my team." Naruto said, then he turned and looked directly at Hinata, "And because you seemed like someone I wanted to get to know." Naruto said with a huge grin.

This made Hinata turn about as red as she had ever gotten before, and that's saying something.

'He actually wants to get to know me? I didn't even think he knew I existed until today. This has to be one of the best days of my life' she thought to herself.

"I-I'd like to get to know you to N-Naruto" she said, barely able to keep from fainting.

He just smiled at her and continued walking; they hadn't even noticed that they were so close to the academy because of how much they were into their conversation.

Naruto smirked, "Last one there is a rotten egg!" Naruto shouted, as he started to run, Hinata right behind him.

They ran through the door at the same time and ran up to sit beside Kiba.

"Well hi Hinata, I'm glad to see you could make it, I couldn't find you anywhere after everyone left." Kiba said after they sat down.

"Sorry, I had to go take care of something…" Hinata lied as the real reason she left was because she was to nervous to talk to Naruto.

"Well I'm glad that both of you are on my team" Kiba said with a grin, "We should make a very good and strong team."

"I-I'm glad too," Hinata said smiling.

"Me to! We are gonna be the best and strongest ninja team ever! BELIEVE IT!" Naruto said with confidence.

Hinata and Kiba both chuckled at the boys energy and his commonly used catchphrase.

As soon as they got done chuckling though, the door swung open.

"I'm the sensei for Team 8, please come down."

Naruto took a long look at their jounin sensei, "This should be interesting," he said.

Kiba and Hinata both nodded their heads in agreement.

Author's Notes

Hope you all enjoyed the first chapter of my first fanfic, no real fighting scenes in this chapter, but I hope to add a good bit of them in the next chapter. I'm going to try to update this fic about every three or four days.

Read and Review please, me being a first time author, I know I have a lot to improve on, so any constructive critiscism or ideas for my story are really very appreciated.

Goodbye, and have a nice day!

- Riley